The prevalence of atopic dermatitis is increasing in many countries. Several factors are known to be associated with childhood atopic dermatitis. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is one of the most common indoor pollutants, and children are more vulnerable to ETS exposure than adults are. In this study, the possible association of ETS with atopic dermatitis was evaluated in 7030 individuals aged 6-13 years who participated in the Children's Health and Environment Research study. In addition, predictive factors, such as the allergic history of the parents, children's immunoglobulin E levels and children's history of rhinitis and its association with dermatitis, were assessed. After adjustment for possible confounding variables, atopic dermatitis was found to be highly correlated with ETS, especially among children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy and/or in the first year after birth (OR=2.06, 95% CI: 1.01-4.22). In conclusion, our results show that childhood exposure to ETS is a major risk factor for atopic dermatitis.
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